RECIPES | Santa Maria style BBQ tri tip dates back to the mid-19th century when local ranchers would host Spanish-style BBQs for their vaqueros (cowboys). It involves simple dry rub of black pepper, garlic powder, salt and, in our case, espresso grounds. Cooked for 1 hour over hot coals and hickory wood chips (the closest native Australian wood to Californian live oak), it’s simple and delicious.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes / Cooking Time: 45mins – 1 hour / Serves 4
- 1 piece tri tip ~700g
- 5g table salt
- 5g garlic powder
- 5g finely ground black pepper
- 5g coffee grounds (fine espresso grind)
- Take your tri tip out of the fridge and let it get to room temperature.
- Heat up your coals as per the instructions for your BBQ
- Mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and coffee grounds until you have a consistent rub.
- Generously coat all sides of the tri tip with the rub
- Cook the tri tip over hot charcoals (~300°F/150°C), until the internal temperature of the meat is 125°F/50°C (for rare) or 140°F/60°C (for medium). Between 45mins to 1 hour.
- Remove the tri tip from the coals and let it rest for around five minutes.
- Slice against the grain to the desired thickness (we like about 1.3cm/½ inch per piece) and serve
The espresso grounds aren’t necessary for the rub, and indeed aren’t part of the traditional Santa Maria rub recipe, but we think they add a nice flavour that enhances each bite.
For an extra-dramatic black crust effect, add a few capsules of activated charcoal to the rub.